U.S. stock index futures pointed to a firmer open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones futures and Nasdaq 100 futures rising 0.1-0.2 percent at 4:58 a.m. ET.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> gained 0.5 percent as investors anticipated that a large number of banks would take up the European Central Bank's second long-term refinancing operation which would help flood the financial system with cash.
Economic data will be a main focus for the market, with U.S. preliminary quarter-four GDP (second estimate), due at 1330 and U.S. Chicago PMI for February index of manufacturing activity released at 9:45a.m. ET.
A person familiar with the matter said a criminal probe was being conducted by the U.S. Justice Department on whether the world's biggest banks manipulated a global benchmark rate.
Several major global banks, including Citigroup
An injunction to suspend the Brazilian operations of oil major Chevron and offshore oil-rig contractor Transocean over a November oil spill northeast of Rio de Janeiro has been declined by a federal judge in Brazil.
A faster, better-equipped version of Apple's
JPMorgan Chase & Co
The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. federal authorities are investigating David Loeb, a managing director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc
Strong consumer confidence data and a fall in oil prices boosted the Dow to close above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008 on Tuesday and also led the S&P 500 to hit a milestone.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 0.2 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 0.7 percent.
(Reporting by Joanne Frearson; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)